Wednesday, 29 June 2011

"Happy Radio!"

Radio makes you happy. It’s official.

I think it’s something that if you work in radio, you subconsciously know... ‘what you do’ connects with people, and puts them in a good mood. But now, the research has been done to prove it. You can read it all here. And you can't argue with science!

The RAB in the UK commissioned this study to see how media improved people’s moods, with the hope that radio would do well, and to measure the emotional influence of radio relative to other media. The aim then was to ‘promote radio’ as a place for advertisers to spend their money persuading us to buy different goods and services etc.

Radio did very well. In fact, radio generated the highest Happiness and Energy levels of the 3 media measured (TV and online being the others).

When I think of my own radio consumption, I think this ‘happiness’ concept really spans formats too.

I was driving back home from an evening meeting in central London the other night and Magic 105.4 had a fantastic sweep of 10 songs that relaxed me in the traffic and ‘made me happy’.

I was cleaning up the kitchen the other night (I like to make a mess when I cook) and stuck on Absolute 80s for my regular retro fix, and that ‘made me happy’ as I turned up Madness ‘Night Boat to Cairo’ really loud!

A few weeks ago, listening to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Just a Minute’ (via Radioplayer) made me laugh out loud a-plenty, and that ‘made me happy’.

Last Friday night, I nipped out to collect the regular ‘Friday Night Curry’ and Friday Night Kiss was playing out some top tunes, and that ‘made me happy’ (or was it the thought of the curry that was awaiting my arrival?)

And listening to BBC Radio 5 Live’s excellent Wimbledon coverage today has ‘made me happy’. (Who would have though tennis on the radio could be so entertaining?).

So it’s not just the wacky, zany morning shows that have the power to make listeners happy. The whole spectrum of content that’s broadcast on the radio can do so. And it’s worth thinking about the mood altering effect that radio has, and ensuring your on-air talent fully appreciates the role they have in shaping “the mood of the nation”.

Finally – a word about the research. Well done to the team at RAB and Sparkler who put this together. When there are stories of war in Libya, riots in Greece and strikes in the UK, it’s the perfect antidote to all the bad news that’s around... and a fun story for other media to report on. (Like here and here) Great work and good timing!

Right - I’m off to get another ‘fix of happiness’.

1 comment:

Colin Kelly said...

So true Nik, and if you think about it, compared to other media, you rarely hear people moan about the radio.
Sure, inside the industry we beat ourselves up about the ad load, song repetition etc but I jardly ever hear people criticise radio stations whereas I frequently hear "the papers are full of rubbish" and "there's nothing on the telly" - most people have a fair amount of goodwill towards the radio.